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Re: References Re: What are the requirements/problems? Re: Working on New Styles for W3C Specifications

From: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2011 09:30:13 -0500
Message-ID: <4EE76175.8090209@arcanedomain.com>
To: Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>
CC: "" <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>, Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>, "chairs@w3.org" <chairs@w3.org>, "spec-prod@w3.org" <spec-prod@w3.org>

On 12/13/2011 5:51 AM, Marcos Caceres wrote:
> Again, what is the use case?

With respect, Marcos, you've asked this several times, and I think you've 
gotten answers including:

* A link goes 404 and you want to know what the intended reference was so 
you can hunt it up or get a near equivalent

* You are reading offline, perhaps on paper, and want to know what the 
reference is

* The biblio text provides a degree of redundancy, helping to catch 
situations in which the wrong link was used or, e.g., cases in which the 
intention was to link a dated copy but what was linked was undated, or vice 
versa (this is quite common, IMO). In your example from a later email, it 
may have been intentional to make a forward reference to 
http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml/, but it may also have been intended to 
reference http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-xml-20081126/ or 
http://www.w3.org/TR/1998/REC-xml-19980210. A good biblio entry should 
indicate which was intended, e.g. "Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 
(Fifth Edition) W3C Recommendation 26 November 2008", and so that provides 
a useful crosscheck.

* ...several others.

I respect the fact that for >you< as a reader of specifications, these are 
low or zero priority, but others on this list who use specifications are 
telling you they are important.

Preparing good biblios has been part of the nuisance burden of being an 
editor of prefessional quality documents going way back before there was a 
Web. I've been editor for many W3C publications, and I know exactly what it 
involves (frankly, if you keep it up as you go the burden can be spread 
pretty well in time, but it's certainly not fun creative work). You've 
asked whether others benefit from the work involved, and I'm hearing 
several people, including me, responding with a clear "yes", along several 
use cases. It's reasonable to debate whether those use cases merit the work 
involved; I think they do, but in any case I'd be grateful if you'd 
acknowledge that use cases have been provided.

Thank you.

Received on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 14:30:44 UTC

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